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  1. The daycare shortage in South Dakota is most acute in rural and reservation communities where working parents have few options and may have to go to great lengths to get child care and in order to remain in the workforce.
  2. A 3-part special report: South Dakota is experiencing a crisis in regard to a lack of access to quality, affordable child care, and the situation is putting great stress and pressure on working families, daycare providers and employers who are struggling to find workers. Community leaders are seeking solutions to a problem they worry could stifle economic growth in communities and on reservations across the state.
  3. A lack of access to affordable child care in South Dakota is exacerbating the state's workforce shortage and putting extreme stress and pressure on working families, daycare providers and employers. On Thursday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Central, South Dakota News Watch will host an online panel discussion featuring four South Dakotans who are on the front lines of trying to manage the daycare crisis and find solutions to the problem. Viewers can tune in for free and submit questions to the panelists; find sign-up information by clicking on this article.
  4. Home heating costs typically rise as winter approaches, but this year, retail prices for propane and heating oil are almost double last year and still rising, placing another burden on South Dakota families already enduring high prices for gasoline, groceries and other goods. Some experts worry that unsafe heating methods could result and that fire risk will increase.
  5. Grocery prices, especially for meat products, have risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic and are expected to continue to rise throughout 2021. Market forces have pushed up costs for grocers and their customers, some of whom are already experiencing financial hardships as the costs of other essentials have risen.
  6. Businesses across South Dakota are struggling to find employees as the pool of available workers has fallen since the COVID-19 pandemic. While the labor shortage could force employers to raise wages and benefits, it could also slow the state's economic growth and upend the opportunity for a post-pandemic surge in the state economy.
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